Networking is not about going to an event and thrusting your business card into everyone’s pockets. There’s actually a more structured approach that will yield the results you want. Here’s the secrets to networking like an Entrepreneur.
The first thing you have to remember is that networking isn’t actually about you growing your list of contacts. It’s about making a connection with others and connecting them to others who they want to meet.
I know this might sound ridiculous because you want to grow your business and need to get out there and meet potential clients, but at the end of the day Entrepreneurship is about the service of others and when you network you build up your reputation as someone who is able to help others achieve what they want AND knows a lot of people, that’s extremely powerful!
So when you turn up to a networking function, that’s the mindset you have to adopt in order to be successful and not waste your time.
The second thing you have to remember is to build rapport with whoever you are talking to and here’s a great tip that I learned from Andrew Morello, winner of The Apprentice Australia.
Andrew adopts a networking philosophy called F.O.R.D. Let me break it down for you.
Family – find out about a person’s family. Are their parents still alive? Do they have brothers and sisters? Do they have a family of their own?
Occupation – find out what this person does and how did they fall into that profession?
Recreation – find out what they do to relax.
Dreams – If you can make a person share their dreams with you then you know you have gained their trust.
See most people who network go for the one-two-punch and ask someone they meet for the first time “What do you do?” and then evaluate the person’s answer to see if they are going to be useful.
What a frickin waste of an opportunity!
Don’t be that person who throws their business cards around and doesn’t care about who they meet. Go forth and network with purpose!
AJ Kulatunga is a keynote speaker and consultant on Entrepreneurship who helps businesses develop Entrepreneurial thinking through the areas of business, motivation and leadership.
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